The NVCA Leadership Gala celebrates the venture industry and honors those who have made significant contributions to foster innovation, advance technology, and drive new company formation.


The Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital Award recognizes venture professionals who have dedicated their professional lives to creating and building successful and highly competitive venture firms as well as portfolio companies that have made a significant contribution to the growth and success of the U.S. economy. Recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award were instrumental in the formation and growth of the venture capital industry and have consistently set high performance standards for the entire industry.

The 2020 Lifetime Achievement in Venture Capital recipient is: Howard Cox

Howard left the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1971 to join Greylock as one of the five original partners. He led Greylock in over 30 investments and served on the board of three New York Stock Exchange companies. One of the most notable is Stryker, a leading medical device company, on which he was a director for 44 years while the company grew from $10 million of revenue to $12 billion and a market value of $75 billion. Outside Greylock Howard has been active in philanthropy for education, medical advancement and the arts. He also has chaired the Investment Committee of In-Q-Tel for 20 years. In-Q-Tel is a non-profit funded by the U.S. Government to bring new technology to the intelligence community. Currently Howard is a Special Limited partner of Greylock.

The Outstanding Service Award recognizes the exceptional service of an NVCA Director or NVCA member who has committed an extraordinary amount of time, resources and dedication to Association efforts that in turn benefits the entire venture industry. The dedication has raised the visibility of the industry to key legislators and regulators and helped to educate them regarding the pivotal role of venture capital to this economy.

The 2020 Outstanding Service Award recipient is Terry McGuire!

As a Founding Partner of Polaris Partners, Terry McGuire brings more than 35 years of successful early stage investing experience in medical and information technology companies.

Terry has invested in more than 50 companies. He co-founded Inspire Pharmaceuticals, AIR, and MicroCHIPS. Companies Terry has supported have touched more than 60 million patients and saved over 400,000 lives.

In 2015, Terry was listed as one of Scientific American’s Worldview 100, visionaries who continue to reshape biotechnology and the world. Terry was listed in Forbes’ Midas 100 List of Top Tech Investors multiple times, and was chosen to receive the Irish America Healthcare & Life Sciences 50 Award. He is a recipient of the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research Award, and the Albert Einstein Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Life Sciences, awarded by Harvard and the City of Jerusalem. He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University and Canisius College for his work in translational science.

Terry was former chairman of the National Venture Capital Association.

Terry is chairman of the Thayer School of Engineering Board of Advisors, Dartmouth College. He also sits on the boards of MIT’s The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, and The Healthcare Initiative Advisory Board (HBS).
In 2009, Terry helped create the Global Venture Capital Congress (GVCC), a gathering of venture capital leadership from around the world. For the past ten years Terry has chaired the congress. The GVCC has worked to create cooperation among venture capital associations in areas as diverse as public policy, research and strategic topics including diversity and inclusion, taxation, and the global image of venture capital and private equity.

Terry holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS in engineering from The Thayer School at Dartmouth College, and a BS in physics and economics from Hobart College.

The American Spirit Award recognizes NVCA members who have shown philanthropic leadership by applying business skills, knowledge, expertise and resources to make an outstanding contribution to society.

The 2020 American Spirit Award recipients are Steve and Jean Case!

Steve Case is one of America’s best-known and most accomplished entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and a pioneer in making the Internet part of everyday life.  Case co-founded AOL in 1985 and under his leadership and vision, AOL became the largest and most valuable Internet company, driving the worldwide adoption of a medium that has transformed business and society.

Case is Chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington, D.C.- based investment firm that partners with visionary entrepreneurs to build significant ‘built to last’ businesses.  In 2014, Steve and Revolution launched the Rise of the Rest, a platform to shine a spotlight on entrepreneurs that are starting and scaling businesses outside of Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston.

Jean Case has a long and diverse track record of transformation and change management as a business builder, policy advocate, philanthropist, investor and tech pioneer. Since 1997, Jean has served as CEO of The Case Foundation, which is widely regarded as one of the most innovative philanthropic entities in the world. In that role, Jean has led cross-sector partnerships that have brought business, government and nonprofits together to drive impact in areas including inclusive entrepreneurship, impact investing, citizen engagement and the digital divide. In January 2020, Jean launched the Case Impact Network to help accelerate efforts to usher in a new era of multi-stakeholder capitalism.

Since 2016, Jean has served as Chairman of the National Geographic Society. During her tenure as Chairman, National Geographic has dramatically expanded its digital strategy and global reach. Nat Geo now reaches hundreds of millions of people each month through its global platform, and is the #1 social media brand in the world. Jean helped create and currently serves as Chairman of National Geographic Partners, a $5 billion global media and travel joint venture with the Walt Disney Company.

The Rising Star Award recognizes the next generation of venture capital professionals who are rising through the ranks and establishing themselves as future standard bearers of the industry. Recipients of the award have demonstrated a mastery of venture capital investing gleaned through a relatively short amount of time in the industry and are widely recognized by their peers and others as emerging leaders of the venture capital industry.

The 2020 Rising Star recipients are:

For over three decades, venture capital has been at the forefront of some of the greatest advancements in medicine, pushing the boundaries of medical innovation and spurring the creation of the biotechnology and medical device industries. The Excellence in Healthcare Innovation Award recognizes those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to the advancement of healthcare innovation through their investment in and support of groundbreaking medical companies that are working on treatments and cures for the most deadly and costly diseases.

Beth Seidenberg of Westlake Village BioPartners will receive the Excellence in Healthcare Innovation award at the 2020 Leadership Gala!

Since 2006, Dr. Seidenberg has incubated and invested in more than 20 healthcare companies, including but not limited to ARMO, Atara, Epizyme, Flexus, TESARO, RAPT, Livongo, and Progyny.

As a founding managing director of Westlake Village BioPartners, Seidenberg believes this is the Golden Age of Biotech. “The pace and quality of innovation has hit an inflection point,” she explains. “With Westlake Village BioPartners we have the freedom and expertise to turn the next big technologies into products and companies that benefit human health.”

Seidenberg has a demonstrated ability to identify and accelerate meaningful molecules through development. Her expertise is grounded in her significant senior-level industry experience with leadership roles at Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Merck Research Laboratories.

The Venture Firm of the Year Award recognizes venture capital firms for their significant contributions to advance the entrepreneurial ecosystem and generate returns for their investors.  Firms receiving the award are recognized for strong fund performance and high exit multiples for recent exits as well as activities to promote entrepreneurship and create a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem.

The 2020 Venture Firm of the Year finalists are:


The health and safety of our communities and members is the highest priority for the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). Rapidly evolving events surrounding COVID-19 (also called novel coronavirus) have raised concerns around large-scale gatherings. In accordance with health guidance from the CDC, WHO, and other health authorities, NVCA has decided out of an abundance of caution for public health to cancel the 2020 NVCA Leadership Gala scheduled for March 12, 2020 at the St. Regis in San Francisco. If you were also planning to attend NVCA’s Politics & Priorities the afternoon of March 12, we are still evaluating whether we can provide that content via another method since we will no longer have this event in-person. Please stay tuned.

We deeply regret and apologize for any inconvenience this cancellation may cause you. We are disappointed that we will not be able to celebrate together and recognize our 2020 VC Award winners in person on March 12. We appreciate your understanding, and will make sure that the 2020 winners and their accomplishments are recognized in another way. NVCA is sincerely grateful to all of our sponsors, partners, and award recipients who so generously have given of their time, talent, and passion toward these March 12 events.

Paid single tickets, tables, or half tables can be credited toward our next Leadership Gala, or we are happy to process a refund. Please contact Allyson Chappell at achappell@nvca.org for any questions or concerns.

We look forward to seeing you at another NVCA event in future.

Ticket Types & Prices:

  • Single Ticket
  • NVCA Member
  • Non-Member VC
  • Single Ticket
  • $800
  • $1,200
  • Half Table (5 tickets)
  • $3,850
  • $6,000
  • Full Table (10 tickets)
  • $7,500
  • $12,000



By registering for the Gala, you can attend our Politics & Priorities event free of charge! Politics & Priorities is your opportunity to join your colleagues and fellow VC leaders at our annual gathering of NVCA members to get the definitive update on how the election and presidential policy will affect the entrepreneurial ecosystem and what NVCA is doing on the ground to protect and promote VC and startups. 

When: March 12, 2020
Time: 3:00-5:00pm
Where: St. Regis, San Francisco


The annual NVCA Leadership Gala attracts over 300 of the Bay Area’s leading VCs. A limited number of exclusive event sponsors receive special access to this unique group of investors. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Hannah Munizza at hmunizza@nvca.org or (202) 864-5918.

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